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You Have Rights

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People With Bipolar Protected by ADA

Did you know that people with Bipolar are protected by the ADA in employment? According to an article written by Attorney Katharine Gordon has provided some information on legal rights under the ADA, you may not be discriminated against for employment just because you have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.[i]

I wrote a post on March 27th addressing our mission to Eradicate Stigma. In that spirit, we must also stand strong in the working place as we know that working with the challenges of Bipolar do not have to be a barrier to enjoying a successful career.

Discrimination in the work place can be life altering. The effects that this can have in a person’s relationships, economic situation, life stability and self esteem can be enormous. Working with worries and stress that includes fear of one’s status of employment is one area that you might not have to live with if you know how to protect yourself.

The article explains that we have a law that gives people with bipolar avenues through which they can get fair treatment in the workplace. Unfortunately, there is a history of individuals being fired or passed over for promotions solely because they have the diagnosis of Bipolar. Gordon explains the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008 that made it easier for people with Bipolar disorder to establish disability:

“It should easily be concluded that the following types of impairments will, at a minimum, substantially limit the major life activities indicated:…major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia substantially limit brain function.”

If you have bipolar and you are in the workforce, I highly recommend that you read the entire article. It has an enormous amount of valuable information.

If you are working, looking for a job or want to expand your horizons by seeing a promotion; focus on developing confidence, acquiring relevant experience and education, and go for it. Everyone in the work place has one challenge or another, from diabetes to divorce. Everyone in the workforces has one challenge or another. The key to success is how we approach our challenges and how we solve problems or resolve potential barriers to our success. If you are struggling with the challenges of bipolar disorder or any other mental health issue, consider that often, what holds us back is not the condition, but our beliefs about our limitations. My next post will address some practical points related to managing bipolar and severe mood swings in the work place.

[i] Employment Rights for People with Bipolar Disorder; Attorney Katharine Gordon; (retrieved 6/7/2015)

You Have Rights

Dr. Barbara Bachmeier

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APA Reference
Bachmeier, D. (2015). You Have Rights. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2019, from


Last updated: 7 Jun 2015
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